Lindsay Gill: August 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sittin' in a highchair, big chair, my chair...

Have you ever driven all the way to work listening to baby songs, switching to find your favorites and then realized that the baby wasn't with you?  No?  Oh...me neither.  But I'll speak for both Luke and myself: the high chair song is one of our favorites.

Speaking of high chairs.  This was one of the purchases that I was most overwhelmed by.  I was previously not aware of how many high chair options were out there.  Having a baby forces you to be a Consumer Reports expert overnight.

We settled on the Graco Mealtime Highchair - Roman.  This was only $65.00 with free shipping and with our new customer discount at diapers.com:  http://www.diapers.com/p/graco-mealtime-highchair-roman-204563.  We received it the next day!

This is an older picture from when we first got the chair.

My conclusion is that the important points are:


1.  Ability to keep the chair clean.  You can put our tray in the dishwasher and put the fabric in the washer machine.  The babes get messier as the foods get more difficult to clean.

2.  Ability to recline.  I was set on a reclining high chair for some reason.  We honestly never used the feature.  I suppose it depends on the babe and how early you're starting the high chair eating.

3.  Multi-purpose.  We find it nice to sit Luke in the high chair with some toys and some Puffs when we're cooking or cleaning.  I like having a nice big tray for his activity and the height of the whole chair can change.

4.  Ability to move.  We have Luke in the kitchen when we're cooking, and then roll him right over to the dining room table when we eat.  He loves being included and we love having dinner!

5.  Space.  Many moms were reviewing that in city apartments they did not have room for a big wheeling high chair, and didn't want to fold it up every time.  Ours fits nicely in a corner in the kitchen for now.  Keep your space requirements in mind.  If space is really an issue, many moms were happy with the high chairs that attach right to the table.  I was worried about this because our little guy is not little, and our table is not the sturdiest of tables.

6.  Growth.  Many chairs are convertible to suit eating needs as the babe grows.  Some can grow with the baby through school age!

7.  Appearance.  Some of these high chairs could be featured in a museum of modern art, they're beautiful!  Ours seems to be right in the middle on the spectrum of high chair beauty.  It definitely looks like a high chair but the softer colors match our condo.

But let's face it, the high chair was not going to be the biggest eye sore in our place...we have that covered.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's better to be late than to arrive ugly.

"It's better to be late than to arrive ugly," says Darcy Gilmore, make-up artist.  But what if we're arriving to work late and ugly!?

This morning I was running late to work, (I thought my start time was 15 minutes later than it actually was).  That was no problem because my co-worker graciously was able to come in a few minutes early to cover for me.  This was all until I realized I forgot Luke's milk at home!  I hate being late!  It gives me quite a bit of anxiety.  This morning inspired me to work on planning my mornings better.  Here's what I found:

1.  Do the obvious:  pack lunches and bags the night before.  Lay out clothes. Empty out school bags from school to make sure there is no paperwork to fill out.  (You have double the amount of school backpacks when your husband is a teacher!  This blog is packed with organizing ideas!
http://organizingmadefun.blogspot.com/

2.  I have a small white board that I plan to hang right next to the door.  This way, we can write important notes for ourselves or each other.  For example, "DON'T FORGET LUKE'S MILK!"  I find I can sleep better, too, knowing that I've written down what I need to do in the morning.  This is also nice since my husband and I are leaving at different times, we can write each other notes for a seamless morning.

3.  Leave enough travel time.  Leave time for traffic or inclement weather.  For some reason, I always tend to leave just enough time to drive to work.  If there is traffic, my heart races in fear that I won't be in time.  Leaving about 10 minutes earlier than usual is so worth it.  That gives you about 10 minutes to either sit in the car and collect your thoughts, or get into the office and start the day peacefully.  If you look around at other commuters, so many people are getting road rage and are drinking their coffee ferociously.  Let's try a different approach to the morning.

4.  Set your clocks a few minutes ahead of time.

5.  One expert here (http://www.columbusparent.com/content/stories/2010/04/29/feature-tips-for-being-on-time.html)  suggests that you seriously consider what you need to do and the time it takes you to do it.  I know I have a false sense of how long it takes to get Luke ready, especially since I don't want to rush him with his bottle.

Of course there will be days where things don't line up and you might be late anyway, like this morning.  In this case, I made the appropriate calls to work and then just took a few deep breaths.  I truly believe many things happen for a reason.  Maybe I avoided a crash or saw someone I wouldn't have otherwise seen.  Try to keep perspective on things and use the time to make a list of everything you're thankful for, including the co-workers who have to make arrangements while you're on your way!

And if all else fails...


Monday, August 26, 2013

It's the little things

Luke's teacher told us that we must have his name on everything!  We have to get in the habit of doing that.  I thought these were cute iron-on labels from www.namemaker.com (and on Etsy) that I could iron into Luke's clothes, and maybe a "made by Lindsay" label for my new sewing projects.
I'm loving this Mom's One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book.  I knew that a traditional baby book was not going to be a perfect fit for us when I found myself filling in the "who was home to greet baby" with "the Bob's delivery men with our new rocking chair..."  This book is great for jotting down quick details of the day that might get lost in a different baby book.
I got my new pair of glasses today and LOVE them!  It's so important to take care of your eyes and vision!  (Jimmy Choo 41 eyeglasses in Havana nugget brown, complete with rhinestones on the sides!)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Before it gets really messy

Last week, I had the heart-wrenching task of dropping off my little Luke at daycare for his first day.  We call it "school" because it feels better.  I decided that I would be strong for Luke so that he couldn't sense any of my anxiety.

I spent hours the night before preparing.  We cut his fingernails, cleaned his ears, and laid out his clothes for the next morning.  We packed his food, his bibs, and his toys.  I couldn't help but hope that the other kids like him, and that the teachers like him.  The next morning, we packed the car and headed to "school."

Needless to say, it was waterworks before I could even park the car in the parking space (for me, not him).  I was uncontrollably sobbing.  Luke was smiling and meeting babies when I told the woman that I was going to say goodbye and back away slowly "before it gets really messy."  Just as I was telling myself that it will get easier, I saw another mother sobbing as she left her almost school age son in the next room.  Okay, maybe it doesn't get easier.

I called my mom on my drive to work, explaining to her how I felt, as if she hadn't had these experiences of her own for me and my two brothers.  Ironically, my younger brother leaves for college tomorrow, leaving my own mother an "empty nester."  She comforted me on Luke's first day, and even offered to drive a full hour just to check on him for a minute.  I know that she has more experience being strong for her children than I do.  I know she wants to cry right along with me, but doesn't so that I can find some strength in her.

I think that being a parent for only these short seven months has given me such a new perspective on parents.  The anxious parents of my patients that used to seem over-bearing or over-dramatic, I now know that they would do anything to make their child's life a little easier, and anything to make their child feel a little less pain.  At the same time, I know that shielding them from ALL difficulty or pain is a disservice to them.  I guess the trick is to find a balance.  I'm aware that this is the first of many, many parent lessons that our perfect Luke will be teaching us.

This is a picture of my Luke at his first day of school.  They send us photos and videos throughout the day and a full report at the end of the day to my email (I know, how cool!!)  My husband and I both agree that after only two days, Luke definitely has a new "swag" about him!  He wants to get down and be more independent than before, we swear!  And there he is, happy as a clam!


My friend CB shared this on Facebook a while back and it touched me enough to search for it again tonight:

"We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?" 

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral. 

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations." 

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. 

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable. 

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. 

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die. 

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her 
baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right. 

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming 
children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom. 

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. 

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. 

That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs. 

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. 

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. 

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. 

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic. 

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. 

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. 

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts. 

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. 
Please share this with a Mom that you know or all of your girlfriends who may someday be Moms. May you always have in your arms the one who is in your heart."

-Author Unknown

One more thing for today, I thought this was helpful to know.  I've heard some stories about babies stacking up their bumpers and crawling out of their crib etc. so these are breathable mesh liners that seem cheaper than in the past.  I haven't tried them but something to consider.  Here is one at target:

http://www.target.com/p/breathable-mesh-crib-liner-by-breathable-baby-bayshore-blue/-/A-10953562#prodSlot=medium_1_9&term=mesh+bumpers

Saturday, August 24, 2013

DIY Cabana Mesh Tote

Here is my first official sewing project, finished!  You can find (buy) the pattern here:
http://www.amazon.com/Cabana-Pattern-Marlous-precut-squares/dp/B00AGHNCYI 


This weekend

This weekend, I want to complete Luke's photo album so that he can bring it to school on Monday.  My friend made her own book on Snapfish and had each family member write a little message that someone can read to them during the day.  I thought that was a great idea!  The one we picked up at Target is also drool-proof and chewable...
On another note, I got a sewing machine for my birthday from my mom and set up my sewing area today. I hope to make pillow covers, some baby gifts, some curtains, and a bag.  I will post the results and ideas!  I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics to pick out some more materials, they have a 40% off coupon here for one regular priced item that can be used through today:
http://www.joann.com/coupon/?icn=homeslot5

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Seven Month Favorites

I received these as a gift for my shower, they are made for babies but come in cute colors and other styles!
They are a little pricey, but cheaper than my nice silver necklace that Luke wants to pull and chew!
protects against drool!  Fisher Price has a few apps that Luke loves!  (the newer one fits an iPhone5 but the older version does not, be sure to get the right size for your phone).
I joined 3 groups on Meetup.com. 
You can pick which groups best suit you and your baby and its a great way to meet moms in your area with common interests!  This is a great way to find out what classes or activities are in your area.   

Luke's interest in tags has grown and we just got him a "taggies" blanket.  Seems like it could be a good DIY project, too.  The funny part is that he still can find the "real" tag!

We also just got a new diaper bag (similar to this one) that has made life much easier!  We realized we were carrying around a diaper bag and about 5 plastic grocery bags.  Now, we just have one diaper bag that zips and can hold everything!   Much easier to get out of the house.




Friday, August 16, 2013

Zucchini Boats

My mom and I went to the Farmer's Market and got all fresh vegetables and basil!  We made zucchini boats for dinner.

First I steamed the zucchini for 5-10 min, cut them in half lengthwise, and scooped out the insides.

I fried up some chicken, tomatoes, red pepper, and onion, with fresh basil.  (You could use grilled chicken for a healthier option).  

Then I filled the zucchini with the mixture and topped it with Parmesan cheese, and baked them in the oven on 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  

They were delicious!  I've seen recipes that use rice and mozzarella in the mixture as well.  

What do you do with the zucchini insides?  Baby food!  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

5 Etsy Favorites

 A nursing bracelet from banglesandbauble to mark times of feedings.  It seems like you could never forget but so many mornings I woke up and couldn't remember when I last fed Luke overnight.


Genealogy Family Tree necklace pendant.  I bought two and Mandalarain made them into earrings for my grandmother with all of the family member's birthstones.  They were such a hit and match everything!

We love taking Luke's month pictures with these cute ties on.  A nice addition to our photoshoots.  Getthepartystarted has all different month stickers


We loved sending these out from jackandellapaper when we moved so that everyone can stay in touch.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/99450755/home-sweet-home-change-of-address?ref=shop_home_active


We used these for Luke's baptism.  We put about 10 Hershey Kisses in a little package as favors.  UpstairsCircus can do different color combinations to meet your party style


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Card Collaging

Here is an idea for consolidating piles of greeting cards that you want to save but don't have room for! You can get different shaped "hole" punchers at Michael's (hearts, circles, squares, etc.) and use either a glue stick, or small foam adhesive stickers.  I combined some design and some handwriting for a unique piece of artwork.   The first is a collage of Luke's baby shower cards, and the second is a collage of our wedding cards.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School

We meet with Luke's "school" later this week.  It seems like a wonderful place.  He will be there two days per week.  We're hoping the socializing and germ exposure will be a good thing for him.  They get to do a music class and even yoga when they're old enough!  We're happy he will be exposed to many people before his "stranger danger" phase starts.  When we visited, he wanted to get down to play with the other kids.

I'm also so excited that they do 18 core sign language signs.  I have been trying to use some with Luke at home.  He definitely knows the sign for "milk" but definitely is using "milk" for everything!  It's so cute to watch him do it, though.  I got a sign language for hearing children book (http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Sign-Language-Basics-Communication/dp/1401921590) and tore out the pages that we would be using and hung them on the fridge.

The school and books claim that the kids who can sign are less frustrated because they're able to communicate before they can speak.  They say to start around 6 months, babies younger than that aren't able to memorize as well.

They also have a program that sends pictures and videos of Luke throughout the day so that we don't miss any major milestones.  Luke is so close to crawling!  I hate thinking that we will miss his first crawl.




In the information packet we were given, there was an insert on "what to look for in a high quality childcare center."  Here are some of the points I thought were important:

1.  Was your initial reaction upon entering the child care center a positive one?
2.  Are parents invited to drop in and visit at any time?
3.  Is there daily communication from the teachers to the parents?
4.  Is the center clean?  How is it cleaned?
5.  Is there a security system in place?
6.  What is the sickness policy?



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Declutter

I recently downloaded the eBay app for my iPhone and have sold three items so far.  Not only does it feel like a slight gambling "high" from monitoring how many people are "watching" my item, but it's a great way to declutter and put some money back in the bank!

The app makes it so easy to post photos and a quick description of the item.  It is definitely a pain to go to the post office and send out the item, but you can specify that the shipping may take a few days extra.


When I'm cleaning, I try to make piles or bags for categories like "giveaway,"  "sell on Craiglist/eBay," "laundry," "throw away" or just put it away!  I find the most success when I make a plan to do something with whatever I pick up.  It seems that too often we get distracted and end up working on too many things at once.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An end to our transition

As a newly married, newly employed, newly relocated, and new mom, I feel like we have finally reached the end of our transition.  This, I realized, is bitter sweet because although we have reached a point of stability, I feel like my excuse for total disorganization has become invalid!

Now that we have a lovely little family of three,  my goal is to make our home life, work life, and social life as stress free as possible.  I'll document any tips or ideas I find along the way!